Coladoir River through the bracken

As I drove on the Isle of Mull today, the memories of previous drivers of this piece of tarmac popped into my head. Mark, Ashley and Euan: three friends from University and beyond, drove here day in day out for 8 long weeks in the Summer of 1993, as part of our Geology degree.

First Mark was dropped off, at or around the letterbox on the Loch Buie road. He would then clamber up the hills and over the headland to get to his bit of this fair isle. I’ve passed that letterbox countless times since and it always reminds me of Mark and especially the day that, sick of the rain and basalt, he caught a lift home with the postman.

Next drop was for Ashley and myself at the memorial at Loch Buie. Ashley would head West and I to the East to our respective outcrops. Just once we worked together, but the misery of horizontal rain kept us from the rocks and we sought shelter in a cave. We always met up a few minutes before our evening rendezvous so we could dissect our day — this bit of basalt blah, that dyke bosh.

But my thoughts today were especially with Euan who had the furthest to go each day and whose journey took in this wonderful bridge. Today, despite the rain, the colours were spectacular and warm, framed by the mountains in Glen More.

But Euan did not appreciate the view. For Euan was on a mission to map Carsaig — Mission reasonably accomplished.

I remember those 8 weeks very fondly. Despite our occasional fallings out over midges, socks, food, farting, sleeping arrnangements, washing, car breakdowns, long journeys, poor driving abilities, caravans and basalt, I was a lucky soul to be surrounded by such wonderful company. They were and remain good mates.